ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Catalytic converters have become a hot commodity for thieves.
At least half a dozen have been reported stolen in Abilene in the last week with another one reported missing this weekend.
So, what makes them so valuable?
They are made with precious metals, such as platinum, that can go for thousands of dollars per ounce.
Catalytic converters are also in short supply and can cost upwards of $600 for an entire new unit.
Jimmy Campbell of Proctor Automotive in Abilene said that these thieves have been cutting the converters out of vehicles, causing more damage to the surrounding piping.
“All of this stuff is just hanging under the vehicle,” Campbell said. “It’s not fixed or fashioned to where you’re not going to have something hit the ground and can cause a lot of damage to the car.”
However, he said there are ways to avoid having your converter stolen.
“Park in a lighted area,” Campbell said. “Naturally, if you’re parking at home, put it in the garage. That’s your safest bet there.”
The Abilene Police Department also released a video giving tips on how to prevent thieves from stealing your catalytic converter.
Public Information Coordinator Rick Tomlin said that he suggests using home security cameras.
“Those help because we can see video and get information from them,” Tomlin said.
Tomlin also suggested talking to your neighbors about any suspicious activity, and calling Abilene Police if someone seems out of place.